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Wladimir Klitschko vs Shannon Briggs: Now possible for April?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO) may not be facing Bryant Jennings in April after all as negotiations for the massive Brooklyn showdown have simmered.

"“At this moment we are far from an agreement," said Wladimir’s manager Berndt Boente via sport.segodnya.ua.

"Bryant Jennings was our top choice. Was. At this time, our negotiations have stalled."

Is this Shannon Briggs' chance?

"An opponent can be anyone who is available for that date and who will be approved by our partners HBO in USA, and RTL in Germany," added Boente.

Last week Klitschko told the media Shannon Briggs (57-6-1, 50 KOs) was not on his short list of opponents, insisting Klitschko vs Briggs was "unrealistic."

But it all makes sense now, doesn't it?

Klitschko vs Briggs.

Not only is Shannon Briggs a former heavyweight belt-holder with a blistering 80 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio, he's successfully thrusted himself into the limelight by publicly stalking and taunting the champion, making mainstream headlines in the process.

"Like it or not, controversy sells in the fight game," Detroit-based fighter/trainer Johnathon Banks told FightSaga's Joseph Herron last fall.

"Whether or not anyone takes Shannon seriously is completely irrelevant because people have once again started talking about him in the Heavyweight division."

"“Shannon is hoping that everyone will eventually say, ‘'why don’t you just give this guy a shot so you can hurry up and knock this guy out’?'"

And Shannon's plan is working...

In a recent poll taken by German media giant BILD, 72 percent of those questioned chose Shannon Briggs as their desired next opponent for heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko who looked sensational in dispatching top-rated contender Kubrat Pulev in November.

Fight fans, especially Klitschko's fervent German supporters, would love nothing more than see their man punish the boisterous Briggs. And if you're Team Klitschko, Briggs may be the perfect opponent at the right time.


1. Klitschko recently signed a three fight deal with HBO. Briggs is a familiar name in the U.S. and certainly the more attractive opponent (versus Jennings) as it relates to broadcast ratings.

2. Team Klitschko seemingly want their man to fight in the U.S., and Brooklyn was, or is, the presumed location. Since Briggs was born and raised in New York City, a Klitschko vs Briggs affair will have tremendous buzz there and the venue will likely be packed with his supporters.

3. Shannon Briggs may represent the perfect showcase for Team Klitschko; a (presumed) easy tune-up prior to future, more fearsome foes such as Deontay Wilder or Bermane Stiverne, or Tyson Fury.

"It seems like everywhere I go, my '‘Let’s Go Champ'’ is chanted. I’m the most colorful fighter since Muhammad Ali," stated Briggs last fall.

Briggs is 6-0, 5 KOs since his comeback started in April and four of his five knockouts have come in the first round.

Although Shannon Briggs is criticized by many in boxing for fighting perceived 'tomato cans,' this is how aging and comebacking fighters hone their conditioning, timing, speed and accuracy and, above all, build confidence.

A 'Senior's Tour,' if implemented properly, can be extremely effective in creating the groundswell for a superfight.


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